'He's in pretty good shape': Crews locate missing Mt. Lemmon hiker
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Incredible video captures the exact moment rescue crews found 54-year-old Scott Bertrand, missing on Mt. Lemmon for three days. The images show searchers hoisting the hiker up and into the rescue helicopter.
Once back on ground, Bertrand gets out with minor scratches covering his arms and legs. Miraculously, they're his only injuries.
"He was just thankful. He's in pretty good shape, so that's good news anyway," Mike Jennings of the Southern Arizona Rescue Association said.
It had been three days since Bertrand's wife last heard from him. Deputies say the novice hiker, visiting from Texas, sent his wife a text message. In the message, he told her he was going to continue hiking until he found a trail.
Deputies used those last cell phone coordinates to narrow their search but Bertrand, not knowing the area, veered north. Deputies advise stranded hikers to stay close to where their last cell phone contact was made.
Recent monsoon storms were possibly a saving grace. Emergency crews say Bertrand hiked into the valley to gather rainwater, daily.
According to deputies, Bertrand, a marathon runner, eventually flagged down a rancher near Davis Springs Trail.
"Mr. Bertrand has an extremely go-getter attitude and he is in pretty good physical health. He had the water sources, really our concern was that he had limited equipment if any when he went out there," Pima County Sheriff's Department Deputy Jason Dowdy.
"We had positive thoughts throughout the search that we were going to find Mr. Bertrand, we just knew it was a matter of time," Dowdy continued.